To build wealth, you need to overcome four major obstacles: debt, taxes, inflation, and big business. You are saying to yourself it is not that simple, but it really is. When I learned this a couple of years ago, I felt like I was robbed over the last 30 years.
Every time I tell people what I do as a financial coach they all say, “Oh the things they should have taught us in high school?” Yes! Now that I know this information it feels like I have known it my whole life, but I know there are still millions of people uneducated of these obstacles so after you read this post you will be years ahead of the rest.
Let us take a closer look at each of these:
The biggest obstacle to wealth accumulation. The more money you make, the more taxes you must pay. Did you know anyone who receives their income from a job is taxed the highest rate of 28% – 33%? It seems unfair, but I explain later why it is setup that way. Taxes in your paycheck are income tax and reduce your take-home pay.
I know most working Americans wish they had the pre-tax paycheck versus the paycheck they bring home every payday. Here is an example of what it might look like after being taxed in your paycheck: Someone earning $100,000 is only bringing home $75,000- $70,000, and that all went to taxes. That did not include any other deductions coming out of there paycheck.
Let us not forget all the other taxes we have pay, here is a few: states, county, sales, property, etc. Do you see why it is our biggest obstacle to wealth?
Guess what, there a solution to overcome them. Become a business owner! Remember I told you I would tell you why employees receiving a paycheck are taxed the highest? It is because the government wants you to become a business owner.
Believe me, any time the government wants you to do something they give you an incentive. Whether it is getting married, having children, buying a home, creating jobs, etc., there is some type of tax incentive attached.
By becoming a business owner this allows you to adjust your W-4 at your employer to reflect the business expenses you know you will pay for the year. If you know your business will cost, you $120 per month than the total for the year is $1440. Now that is $1440 less you will pay in taxes, but you must update your W-4 at your job to reflect that.
Consult with your tax professional before you make any changes.
There are other strategies to reduce taxes in your paycheck, such as increasing your retirement contributions, allocating money to a Flex Spending and Health Savings account. These funds will be allocated pre-taxed and reduce your taxable income. I know that was a lot of information, but these simple strategies can save you thousands of dollars.
These strategies do not include ALL the taxes incentives for being a business owner, there are so many. Wouldn’t it be nice to use those dollars for the things you want to use them for instead of going to the IRS?
Now that we got taxes out of the way, unfortunately they are the reason most people are in debt. If people had more of their money in their net income, then they would not have to take out so many loans and use so many credit cards. With every debt, you are paying interest on top of what you owe. This can cripple your ability to save money and invest for the future. Imagine how much money people could save and invest with just the interest paid on debt, especially if their credit score is low.
If you did not know, your interest is based on your credit score. The higher the score the lower the interest rate. The golden number is 850 but trust me even high 700’s -low 800’s will get you premium interest rates. Think about how much money you would have every month to invest, save or use for vacations if you had no debt.
I was recently reading an article Record credit card debt will hit Americans mid-2022: Expert | Fox Business on how much the credit card debt has increased in the fourth quarter of 2021, it’s at its highest of $52 billion. We know the pandemic and massive job loss contributed to that increase, but with the increase of debt it is going to take Americans much longer to build wealth if their income is not increasing significantly. Debt is not the only reason our income needs to increase rapidly; the next thing is something we cannot control, and I am sure you have seen that impact.
The quiet wealth obstacle. Have you noticed the number of items in your shopping cart have decreased, but the shopping bill is steadily increasing? I have! Going from spending $75 per week for groceries to $90 sometimes more is an obvious increase. The increases were not only the grocery store, but natural gas, restaurants, hair salon, everywhere!
Currently, inflation is 7% and is expected to increase. That $1 candy bar is now $1.25, and the candy bar is smaller. As prices increase over time, the value of our money decreases. This makes it harder to save and can reduce the purchasing power of your savings over time.
If you noticed inflation is not advertised until it is already attacking our pockets. One week you order a large pizza, and it is $10 and next week it is up to $13. The business owners usually do not make any announcement until right before the change occurs. If it is something you enjoy and you do not want to give it up, you will adjust with the price increase and now your monthly budget is affected with $2 here, $15 there, and $25 over there. If your income is not increasing at the same rate or more than inflation, you are in trouble.
Not sure who “Big business” are? It is large companies like Walmart and Amazon. Large businesses have a lot of power and influence, and they often use this power to get favorable treatment from the government. They are also thinking of as many ways as possible for you to spend money. Have you ever wondered why every holiday there is a sale being advertised on television or on social media? Well, that’s big business finding its way into your pocket to spend all your hard-earned money.
Now do not get me wrong, we should buy ourselves nice things and it is important to keep business owners in business such as yourself and I. However, society has been programmed to go out and spend money at least once every month. Whether it is for a holiday, birthday, anniversary, back to school, wedding, etc.
If you are someone who loves to shop and typically find yourself on the store during one of big business sales this is eating up one-third of your income that could be going to paying off debt, building savings, or investing in the big businesses.
Now that you know the four obstacles getting in the way of you building wealth are you ready to make some changes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Or let us schedule your Financial Wellness Call to discuss how we can work together to get you building wealth.